05 April 2011

ārya-satya - The Noble Truths

Some calligraphy for the book - getting towards the end of the English proof reading and fixing images now. I think you will agree that this is much better work than what's on the website currently. The four noble truths are one of the most succinct summaries of the Buddhist teachings.

āryasatya - noble-truths
duḥkha - disappointment
samudaya - cause (of disappointment)
nirodha - cessation (of disappointment)
mārga - road (to the cessation of disappointment)

K.R. Norman has pointed out that, despite the received tradition, a more likely translation is 'truths of the noble ones' which is supported by the Pāli commentaries.


  1. Doesn't it say "dyaḥkha" in the picture rather than "duḥkha?"

  2. Hi Dksht

    Yes it did! Thanks for noticing that. I have fixed it now.

    Best Wishes

  3. is this read from left to right? or is this always presented in these rows of symbols? how exactly does it read? love your blog by the way.

  4. Hi Ben. Thanks.

    Sanskrit is usually read left to right, top to bottom, same as English. What I've done here is just the five individual words each on one line: āryrasatya, duḥkha etc., and centred. Traditionally texts in this script where written without word breaks, everything just following on and new lines could come in the middle of words.

    Actually I've just noticed another error in this (arya rather than ārya!), but it have to wait till monday for a correction, as I'm going to London for the weekend.


  5. Jayarava,

    thats so interesting. i am an illustration major/ graphic design minor at the Maryland institute College of art, and my work is heavily influenced by both eastern philosophy and imagery. i find everything about the art of buddhism, hinduism, and folklore from all over the east very engaging, and i am especially intrigued by the texts and script of the various languages of said cultures. i try to incorporate as much of it as i can figure out (which is not very much yet) into my work. both your blog and tashi mannox's have inspired me very much. if you have a chance, it would be wonderful if you would check out some of my work. the illustrations i have put on my blog are mostly inspired by shingon buddhism, and i plan to keep adding more work as i enter my senior year. i think you would really appreciate it.

    thanks for getting back to me about the 4 truths. they have really affected the way i see things ever since i had learned of them a few years back

    best, ben

  6. by the way, if you're interested, my work is posted on http://benjicarpey.blogspot.com/